Advantages Absolutely essential for anyone interested in popular music.
Disadvantages Probably can't dance to it
Highway 61 Revisited opens with the gun shot drum beat of 'Like A Rolling Stone', surely a major contender for best rock single of all time. After it was released in 1965, nothing was the same in US and European popular music. Although Dylan understood the British pop scene, he knew that rock music belonged to the USA and that even the Beatles were formed out of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and Elvis. The sound is tough, loud guitars, organ and Dylan's unique powerful harmonica style. But most of all it is American. Making the title track Highway 61, the huge road that runs down the US is typical. Dylan's lyrics flash from one street scene to another, pausing to watch the characters living in a society where just about anything goes. Coupled with great melodies, it means there isn't a bad song on this album. It ends with Desolation Row, with its cast of heroes and villians spread over 11 minutes with a wonderful harmonica solo. It makes you wonder how one young man could have written all this, then recorded it live in the studio over a few days with half a dozen musicians.
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